2019 Coast to Coast women’s champion Simone Maier is aiming for a repeat of her winning performance when she lines up for the 7-day GODZone adventure race in Canterbury this week.
The 38-year German born Kiwi has announced she will be competing alongside world champion adventure racer Chris Forne, fellow female adventurer Emily Wilson from Wanaka and her partner, successful adventure racer Marcel Hagener.
“I am totally thrilled to be racing with Chris Forne again after being in his 2016 GODZone team in Queenstown. Marcel and I actually raced with Chris at the Absolute Wilderness event last weekend which was great, and a reminder of how bloody fast he goes out on course,” says Maier.
The newly created GODZone team will be flying the flag for sponsor Perpetual Guardian and are amped to be racing the Chapter 8 Canterbury course together as a foursome.
“Nathan Fa’avae and Marcel had talked about the idea of a fresh team constellation with two guys and girls racing together rather than the normal three guys to one girl ratio. Chris was keen to try this out for a new challenge and we really want to make it work,” says Maier. “It can be harder for girls, who are seen as the weakest link in adventure racing but are not always – in fact girls often get stronger as the race progresses past the first few days.”
The 600km GODZone course will remain a secret to competitors until the race gets underway from March 10th– 17th with pre and post-race activities hosted in Akaroa. Maier says she expects some tough competition out on course.
“Personally, it would be amazing to win GODZone on the back of Coast to Coast. It won’t be easy, but you do have to put yourself out there. I think we are totally capable of it and I know Chris thinks that as well or else he would not have chosen this team combo.”
“We should be able to give the other strong teams in the field like Swordfox from Nelson, Tiki Tour from Queenstown and Torpedo 7 from Wanaka a good run for their money.”
“It might come down to what type of course it is and whether there is plenty of route choice, which would play to our strengths. I really trust Chris’s ability– he has a lot of experience and as a team we are all on the same page with our intention for the race.”
Winning the Coast to Coast longest day trophy was a triumph for Maier who is the first German ever to do so.
“It was an amazing feeling especially with all those other multisport legends that have gone before. The sport is not a big thing in my home country and so when I messaged my family to tell them they had a ‘world champion’ in their midst they didn’t really get it,” says Maier.
The high performing athlete has spent several years racing triathlon and competing in international adventure races including several in China. She says her future focus is on multisport and adventure racing.
“I love to train all day, every day and wish that I was paid to do just that. The team aspect of adventure racing is cool sharing both your passion and pain together. It gives opportunities that are not possible in a normal job and is very unique.”
“Being out there all day and all night is a real adrenalin buzz and requires you to deal with what’s directly in front of you. There is a lot of opportunity to learn skills from these events that are transferable to business and life in general.”
“Trust is a big part of it relying on your team mates to help you through the difficult times and move forward together. There is synergy with our sponsor Perpetual Guardian who are also involved in building trust with their clients and creating great team environments.”